April 17, 2009 // Franchising.com // Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) and the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON: IHG, NYSE: IHG (ADRs)], owner of the InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites® brands, today announced a three-year sponsorship renewal to make Holiday Inn hotels the "Official Partner of MLB Road Trips." A highlight of the sponsorship is a platform in which MLB fans can earn free tickets to any MLB game by staying at a Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express hotel. The renewal between MLB and Holiday Inn continues the largest relationship in U.S. professional sports between a league property and a member of the hotel industry.
"By continuing our alliance with Major League Baseball as the "Official Partner of MLB Road Trips" IHG and MLB are bringing together again two dynamic, all-American icons. Holiday Inn is America's favorite hotel brand and MLB is America's favorite pastime," said John Merkin, Senior Vice President, Brand Management, Holiday Inn Brands, The Americas. "Fans are returning to the basics - to brands that are practical and that they know they can trust. No partnership says Americana more than Holiday Inn and Major League Baseball."
Holiday Inn is committed to creating memorable experiences for its most loyal customers. Through this renewed business partnership with MLBP, Holiday Inn will be able to continue offering members of Priority Club® Rewards MLB tickets, merchandise, and unique once in a lifetime opportunities. This includes being able to redeem Priority Club Rewards points for VIP experiences at the All Star Game and World Series. Also in support of the "Official Partner of MLB Road Trips" platform, registered guests who stay 8 nights at a Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express beginning in May can get 2 tickets to an MLB game throughout the 2009 or 2010 regular season. Holiday Inn will also sponsor a premier attraction at MLB All-Star FanFest , the interactive baseball theme park, which opens during Major League Baseball All-Star Week, taking place in St. Louis this year.
"The Holiday Inn brand is a leader in the hotel industry and we are proud to provide our fans with value-based offers that demonstrate the benefits of our partnership," said Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball Executive Vice President, Business. "As fans plan their summer vacations with value being a top priority, we are confident that taking a road trip to a baseball game and staying at a Holiday Inn provides families with a getaway that is as entertaining as it is affordable."
The Major League Baseball Clubs formed Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) in 1966 as the Clubs' agent for marketing and trademark licensing and protection. Major League Baseball Properties is responsible for managing consumer licensing activities, developing national advertising campaigns, cultivating sponsorship opportunities with major consumer brands and corporations, growing the game and the business of baseball outside the United States and creating national marketing programs in conjunction with Clubs, broadcast rightsholders and national sponsors. MLBP also operates a full-service video and audio production unit (Major League Baseball Productions), a publishing division and stock photo licensing agency, and manages logistics for the All-Star Game and World Series as well as all other special events.
Holiday Inn is in the midst of one of the most exciting times in the history of the brand. Holiday Inn currently undergoing a global relaunch that is creating a more contemporary brand image, improving quality, and driving consistency across the entire global estate. Momentum has been building since the relaunch began, and the full global estate of Holiday Inn brand family hotels is expected to have completed the relaunch by the end of 2010. In addition to these existing hotels, the global pipeline of new hotels will add more than 1,100 hotels all reflecting the new identity over the next three years.
Currently, with nearly 1,400 hotels worldwide, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts is the most widely recognized lodging brand in the world. In fact, Holiday Inn was one of the first international hotel brands to establish a presence in China, in 1984. Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts provide the services that business travelers need, while also offering a comfortable atmosphere where all people can relax and enjoy amenities such as restaurants and room service, swimming pools, fitness centers and comfortable lounges. The casual atmosphere and amenities such as meeting and on-site business facilities, KidSuites rooms, Kids Eat and Stay Free programs, and the ability to earn Priority Club Rewards points that can be redeemed for great merchandise, airline miles or free room nights, demonstrate the long-standing commitment of Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts to serving travelers and have helped to establish the brand as "America's Favorite Hotel."
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, more than 4,150 hotels and almost 620,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well recognized and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®, and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards with 42 million members worldwide.
IHG has more than 1,700 hotels in its development pipeline, which will create 200,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.